Here in the midwest we are experiencing what the good folks in Lake Wobegone would term a “mild cold snap.” Not being as stoic as the citizens of that town on the edge of the prairie, the cold necessitated a bit more care in my kit the past few days.
I have neoprene booties on my shoes and use bar mitts on my handlebars, so both my toes and fingers are pretty well protected from the cold and wind. Still, without a little care, I will experience cold toes and/or cold fingers. Something dawned on me on the ride home yesterday. If my fingers get cold, I can push a bit harder and generate more heat. Then my fingers warm up. My toes might now be cold, though. I think that’s because the extra effort pushes my toes into the front of my shoe, reducing blood flow. I can focus on pulling more on the backstroke, reducing pressure on my toes (and increasing pressure on my heels), increasing blood flow to my toes, and they warm up. Alas, now I’m using my quads less and my (weaker) hamstrings more, so I don’t generate as much heat, and my fingers start to get cold again.
Yesterday I failed to find a happy medium. It looks like I need to develop my hamstrings more so they are capable of warming my fingers by themselves.